Public capital formation and labor productivity growth in Mexico
This paper addresses the important question whether public investment spending on economic infrastructure enhances economic growth and labor productivity in Mexico. Following the lead of the endogenous growth literature, it presents a modified production function which explicitly includes the positive or negative externality effects generated by additions to the public capital stock. Using cointegration analysis, the paper proceeds to estimate a dynamic labor productivity function for the 1955–94 period that incorporates the impact of the growth rate in the stocks of both private and public capital (as opposed to the flows) and the economically active population (EAP) (rather than the rate of population growth). The results suggest that (lagged) increases in public investment spending on economic infrastructure—as opposed to overall public investment spending—have a positive and highly significant effect on the rate of labor productivity growth. In addition, the estimates suggest that increases in government consumption expenditures may have a negative effect on the rate of labor productivity growth, thus suggesting that the composition of government spending may also play an important role in determining the rate of labor productivity growth. Finally, the findings call into question the politically expedient policy in many Latin American countries of disproportionately reducing public capital expenditures on economic and social infrastructure to meet targeted reductions in the fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2002
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Volume (Year): 30 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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